Wednesday, 18 September 2013

What's Up Wednesday

Welcome to my What’s Up Wednesday post for this week! If you aren’t familiar with WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part.

What I’ve Been Reading:

This weekend I finished my ARC of The Dream Thieves. In case you didn’t see my post on this, our local independent bookstore gave me an ARC just on time to read it before the actual release date. Not only did I absolutely LOVE it, but I’ve discovered that I’m not capable of reading a Maggie Stiefvater book quickly. I have to savour every single beautiful word. As with The Raven Boys, I was completely invested in the characters, and Adam continues to break my heart whenever he’s on the page. Without giving any spoilers, there were a couple of scenes involving Blue that were incredibly sweet, each for different reasons. I enjoyed getting a deeper look into Ronan’s mind as well. Heck, even Chainsaw had me mesmerized. I can't wait until book three comes out. This next year is going to be cruel and unusual punishment, especially seeing as I have a theory about one thing I think might happen and I want to know if I’m right.

Now, I’ve got three books on the go, which is ridiculous since I’m busy writing and don’t have much time for reading. I’m still partway through Descendant by Lesley Livingston. I’m reading Ender’s Game with my son before the movie comes out. Plus, I’m working my way through The Odyssey by Homer, which I love.

What I’ve Been Writing:

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned I was working on THE chapter that everything in my trilogy hinges on. Well, I finished it. I’m not exactly sure what I think of the first half of the scene—kind of waffling back and forth on what I should keep or cut—but I’m very happy with the second half. The especially important bit played out exactly as I pictured it. Whew! I’ve written a few more scenes since (one that I was waiting forever to write, and yes, it involved kissing) and while I’m right in the heart of the good stuff and things are going to very quickly speed up in terms of the plot, I’m sort of mulling over and tinkering around with some of the details. I’m a planner, but it’s impossible to foresee how every little piece of the plot will unfold until you’re actually writing it. I’m behind where I wanted to be in drafting at this point, but I’m enjoying the writing, so I’m not too disappointed about that.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Fumiko Ishioka, the teacher responsible for piecing together the story of Hana’s Suitcase. This woman went to incredible lengths to discover the history behind a suitcase she acquired from Auschwitz, and to teach students about the Holocaust. Fumiko followed the suitcase's trail until she was able to locate Hana's brother, George, who survived Auschwitz and eventually settled in Canada. She gave George the opportunity to share Hana's tragic story, as well as his own, with her students in Japan. Now, because of her efforts, children the world over can learn about Hana Brady’s life and the prejudice that ended it. If you haven’t read the book Hana’s Suitcase or watched the companion documentary, Inside Hana’s Suitcase, I highly recommend them. And if you’re a parent or teacher looking for good World War II resources, be sure to check these out.


And also, Terry Fox. See below...

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

On Sunday, my family participated in the annual Terry Fox Run to raise money for cancer research. I walked 5k with my in-laws, while my boys ran the 10k. If you’re not familiar with Terry Fox, he’s a Canadian hero. Terry lost his leg, and ultimately his life, to cancer. In 1980, despite being an amputee, he attempted to run across Canada in an effort to create awareness about the disease and raise funds for research. His goal was to raise one dollar for every Canadian. He made it halfway (5373 km/3339 miles) before his Marathon of Hope was cut short when his cancer returned and made it impossible to continue. He died just months later at the age of 22. Terry’s story is one of courage, determination, and sacrifice. To honour his memory and continue his legacy, it’s become a family tradition to participate in this event every year. If you’re interested in reading more about Terry, you can do so: here.

I also watched some interesting things this week. Firstly, my son and I watched the documentary, Inside Hana’s Suitcase, as mentioned above. In the realm of fun, we watched Star Trek Into Darkness again (awesome from start to finish), as well as the Lumineers and Jake Bugg itunes festival concerts on TV (both were great). We also tuned in to the pilot for Sleepy Hollow, which was fun and the perfect amount of creepy leading up to Halloween. Also, Ichabod Crane is a vast improvement over the old Disney version. If you don’t believe me, look him up.

Other than that, there was far too much buffalo chicken pizza, some raspberry porter to compliment The Dream Thieves, guzzling of the new chocolate chai latte at Starbucks and, as always, book shopping.


So what’s up with you these days?


31 comments:

  1. Mmm... chocolate chai latte. Now, my mouth is watering. I've been meaning to get to Maggie Stiefvater's books. I really have to do that. And congrats on that run. I'm amazed :)

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    1. It's really good! You should definitely try one. I attempted to make one at home, but it wasn't the same as the Starbucks version...yet. I'll have to perfect the recipe. :)

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  2. The Dream Thieves is on it's way too me, I seriously CAN NOT WAIT! I'm so excited.

    It sounds like you had a fun week, we watched Star Trek on Saturday and I thought it was great fun and so cinematic. When the Enterprise comes back out of the clouds! It's such an amazing shot.

    I'm glad you're writing is going so well, it's always fun to write kissing scenes :)

    Congratulations on finishing the 5k walk, Terry Fox's story is really inspiring.

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    1. I hope it gets there quickly so you can read it right away! And I also hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

      Wasn't Star Trek great? I don't think there was a dull moment in the entire movie! I loved that shot of the Enterprise too.

      As for Terry Fox, I can never say enough about what he did. :)

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  3. I'm envious of your DREAM THIEVES copy! I am really looking forward to that one; I loved THE RAVEN BOYS.

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    1. I was so lucky to get my hands on an ARC! But I'm almost envious of everyone who's getting to read it for the first time in the next little while. :)

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  4. Your Inspiration & "What else I've been up to" sections this week are so chock full of amazing that I don't even know where to start. Thank you for sharing both of those.

    And congrats on finishing THE CHAPTER. Don't worry, you can always tweak the first part if you need to. The important part is getting it down on paper.

    Hope you have a fantastic week!

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    1. There are some incredible people in this world, and I love sharing their stories. I'm glad you found them inspiring!

      THE CHAPTER will definitely require some tweaking or possibly trimming at some point, but I have lots of time to mull that over while I'm plugging away on the rest of the draft. By then I should have a clearer picture of what parts I want to keep and which will get the ax.

      Hope you have a fantastic week too!

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  5. I can't wait to read The Dream Thieves, I think it'll be the first thing I buy when I get paid at the weekend!

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    1. Sounds like money well-spent! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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  6. Hana's Suitcase is definitely inspiring. The play I saw of it in Edmonton was phenomenal. Wish you guys could have seen it. And, of course, Terry Fox will ALWAYS inspire me. Such an incredible human being.

    Happy to hear you got through THE CHAPTER. I feel like we haven't talked writing enough lately. I suppose that's probably because I haven't been writing, but still. We're overdue for a good writing chat.

    I got an email from Amazon telling me that my copy of THE DREAM THIEVES is on its way. Huzzah! Can't wait. :-)

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    1. I wish we could've seen the play too. I remembered that you'd seen it in Edmonton and was disappointed that no one is performing it here. Ah well. You should definitely check out the documentary sometime. And Terry Fox will probably always be top of my hero list. He's one of the biggest reasons I'm proud to be Canadian, and I'm sure that goes for you too.

      We definitely need to have a chat once you get settled back into your writing routine. I'm going to need your opinion on a LOT in this first draft!

      I'm so excited your copy of THE DREAM THIEVES is on its way! I can't wait to discuss it with you!!! :)

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  7. Those are both great inspiration!

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    1. Yes it is. And also far too young to carry the weight of a terrible disease while attempting to inspire an entire nation into action.

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  9. Glad you got through your monster chapter. It's always such a relief to get through the beast--even if you realize you're going to have to revise it to death at some point. I'm in the middle of revisions for a recently finished novel, and I'm skimming over several of those cringe-worthy parts to focus on broader issues. Ah writing...

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    1. It was a challenge, but I enjoyed it, and fortunately I suspect it'll require trimming more than anything--at least I think so right now. That could certainly change though! I don't mind revisions, so that's a good thing!

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  10. HOORAY FOR STAR TREK!

    Wow, 5k! I am impressed :D And such a fantastic cause, too.

    Enjoying writing is definitely a good thing. Congratulations on getting through THE chapter ;)

    Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Ha ha! I knew you'd like that part! It was every bit as good the second time around!

      I only walked the 5k, but one of these years I'd love to be able to run it. That's probably wishful thinking, but one can dream!

      THE chapter was a challenge, and I'm glad to be done the first version of it. I think revising it will most involve trimming, so that's a relief. :)

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  11. I can't wait to read The Dream Thieves! It's great when a scene turns out the way you planned, although it's true that you never really know until it's on the page - I'm a planner, too, and my plots still take me by surprise sometimes! I'm working on the climactic scenes of my WIP, too, so I know how you feel! :)

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    1. I hope you enjoy THE DREAM THIEVES as much as I did. I'm already dying for the third book!

      Those plot surprises are kind of nice when you outline the heck out of a story. A creative twist every once in a while keeps the writing process interesting! Good luck with the climactic scenes at the end of your WIP! :)

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  12. Please forgive me, Erin, but I had to skip over the TDT review I'm going to start it this weekend and I DON'T WANT TO KNOW ANYTHING. But I did see that your local library lent you an ARC?!?!? I am so jealous. I'm afraid to ask our local library if they know what an ARC is.

    And kissing scenes, FTW!!! Is this story a follow-up to ENVISION? Or something entirely different?! Very excited for you either way. And how cool that you did the Terry Fox run too! That story is very inspiring.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Oh that's okay! I made sure I didn't spoil anything and kept my comments really general though. Few things irk me more than spoilers! I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did! In fact, I'm sure you will!

      Yep, the WIP I'm working on now is the sequel to ENVISION. I feel like I need to get the whole story out!

      Glad you found Terry's story inspiring! Hope you have a great week too! :)

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  13. I'm impressed that you have theories about the next installment of THE RAVEN CYCLE. I am loving the series, but I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what's coming next. I would have never guessed at what ended up happening in TDT, though I thought it was amazing. Also, I think I know the sweet scenes you mentioned involving Blue, and I adored them as well. I adore anything that has to do with Gansey. :-)

    Glad to hear you're enjoying your writing, and best of luck getting your story where you want in to be during the next few weeks!

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    1. I have no idea in terms of plot, but I have a suspicion about the relationship between two particular characters. Maybe what I'm thinking is totally obvious, or maybe I'm completely off the mark. Not sure. THE DREAM THIEVES was very different than I was expecting, so I could never guess in a million years what Maggie Stiefvater has in store for the overall story. I'm pretty sure you're thinking of the same scenes I am. I might have to go reread them because they were so sweet and perfectly written. I love Gansey too, but Adam is still my favourite. Heck, I love all the characters! :D

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  14. I've seen Star Trek Into Darkness more times than you should count this week. Ha. Inside Hana’s Suitcase sounds fantastic. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend!

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    1. I can see why! It was so good! Not a single dull moment from start to finish! You should definitely check out INSIDE HANA'S SUITCASE. It was well worth watching, but keep the tissues handy because it's very moving. Hope you have a great weekend too!

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  15. I'll have to check out Hana's Suitcase - it sounds like an incredible, moving story.

    Yay for getting THE chapter done! Even if you want to tinker with it, remember the important part that it's on the page. Along with kissing scenes :)

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    1. Both the book and the documentary give a good look at Hana's life and what happened to her, so I recommend either one. I also recommend having tissues close by, because it's very sad.

      I'm so relieved that THE chapter is on the page now. I think more than anything it might need to be trimmed, so that's all right. And yes, it's very important to get those kissing scenes down lol! :)

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  16. Sounds like a busy week! I just saw the trailer for Inside Hana's Suitcase a week ago or so and, especially after hearing your thoughts, I am eager to see it. I didn't know that there was a book - I'll definitely have to pick that up. It sounds like an amazing story.

    I think it's great that you participate in things like the Terry Fox Run with your family. What a great thing to do together!

    Major kudos on finishing THE chapter. :) I hope things go/went well with your writing this week!

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